All of the strategies and techniques outlined in this document are to be considered as an outline of best practices for token sale paid ad strategies . Due to the fact that each token sale is unique, and you may have information that conflicts with the below document or have a different paid ad strategy in place, the information contained in the below document should be adjusted to fit your strategy. If the below document doesn’t feel aligned with your current strategy please keep in mind factors or insight that may conflict with the below document and adjust to fit your current strategy or contact us so that we can discuss why a particular portion of this document is in conflict.
The purpose of this document is to lay out a strategy with accompanying best practices for white hat token sale growth hacking and give an overview of exactly how to create a strategy, content calendar, blog posts, and then successfully disseminate them to the public to garner as much growth as feasible.
This section serves as a guide to prepare you for successfully gaining momentum and growing your user base in the early stages of a blockchain start-up.
1. Prerequisites to growth hacking: While you don’t want to spend your time over preparing, an appropriate level of preparation will ensure the success of your launch throughout the launch period.
2. Developing a strategy: A strategy will be the guide for successful growth. If certain elements are not defined in advance the path will neither be efficient nor smooth.
3. Choosing the best mediums: Understanding and using appropriate mediums can dramatically influence the success of your early-stage growth.
Prerequisites to Growth HackingWhile it might seem obvious, there are some things that absolutely need to be done before going out and promoting your token sale. Skimping in this area will lead to less efficient growth.
- • Need money to make money. While the intention of a token sale is to raise money, a bit of money will be necessary from the start. $100k - $150k is considered reasonable. You may need to pay a few people, launch a few ads, purchase promotional items, etc., all in the name of making your company grow faster.
- • Your token. Create your token on the Ethereum ecosystem so that people can take action on your promotional activity. You will garner greater interest if your token is on a few strong exchanges such as Gemini and Bittrex.
- • Get legal insight. For your safety and the safety of your participants, it’s important to have professional legal insight into how your token sale is structured. The regulations are complex and as it is a new industry, they are changing and developing rapidly.
- • Have product at good milestone: People will take part in your token sale because they are interested in your product, therefore the product needs to have the key functioning features that your participants are looking for.
- • Write your white paper. The white paper is industry standard and will help potential ICO participants understand your company and be able to make an informed decision in whether they want to participate in your ICO or not. The white paper should address all of their main concerns and questions regarding your company.
Developing a Strategy
The better defined a strategy, the smoother the communication, the more rapid the results. Having a strategy will help your entire team be clear on goals, who is going to do what to get reach those goals, and how it will be done. Early-stage strategies need to be flexible, but initially there should be few questions about what the launch process consists of.
- • Define objective and key results. Knowing objectives and KPIs is important because they become the standard for measuring the success of your launch activities. Objectives help you know if you are headed in the right direction or not.
- • High impact. At this stage in the company, focus should be on high-impact activities. There is far too much to be done and no one has enough time, so it is important to focus on the most efficient, high-impact activities that will help meet your objectives.
- • Know your funnel. Gain a good understanding of the stages your users or participants need to go through in order to discover you, interact with you, sign up and participate in your token sale. Undoubtedly you will lose people at each stage of the funnel, so it is important to assess what can be done at each stage to mitigate that loss.
- • Define activities. What activities can be done to affect different portions of the funnel? Which will have the maximum affect? Activities can be done in conjunction with each other, one just needs to be certain they can identify which activity is having an effect. Monitoring the success of different activities as they relate to the pre-defined goals will give an idea of what to buckle down on and do more of.
- • Assign responsibility. By assigning people to different tasks and responsibilities, there are never any questions as to who is doing what. This will ensure that tasks do not fall through the cracks as everyone is clear on what the expectations are. With knowledge of who the responsible people are, appropriate follow-up and motivation can be given.
- • Create a roadmap. Once the funnel is known and the activities have been assigned to certain people, the activities need to be plugged in to a calendar to make sure that efforts are moving forward at the desired pace.
- • Iterate and reassess quickly. Once the plan is in place, the next step is to put it in motion. As you are testing activities, you may discover some activities just aren’t driving the desired result and need to be tweaked or stopped. It is important to always be monitoring the results of your activities so that you can act quickly and make changes quickly.
There are so many platforms that allow you to connect and engage with people in different ways. Your main demographic is not most active on Instagram, but most of the other platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Telegram, Reddit, Slack, etc. are suitable for targeting them with the appropriate content type.
Allies increase the strength and size of your informal team - giving you a bit more time to focus on other aspects of your business and helping your company grow. There are different types of allies that have different associated costs. Selecting options that fit within your budget can prove to be a cost effective way to amplify your marketing efforts.
- 1. Influencers: The right influencer is generally a paid option who already has many connections and much influence amongst your target audience. Using an influencer with a known, engaged audience can help you reach thousands (or even millions) of people in one shot.
- 2. Partners: A partnership is a mutually beneficial relationship where an individual or company provides something that is useful to you (in this case: users) and you provide them with something beneficial in return. The question is to identify what value can you provide to this potential partnership that would make the partner willing to get you the users you need.
- 3. Evangelists: These people are allies that come at no direct cost to you. They love you, your company, and your product so much they want everyone to know about it and share it with everyone using whatever mediums they have available to them
Using an influencer or two or three is a great way to broadcast your product to a community. As with any growth hacking method, the influencer needs to be chosen strategically so that the right audience is reached in a fashion that aligns with your company’s voice. Influencers will almost always come at a charge, but their effect can be well worth it.
What is an influencer?
An influencer is a celebrity or person who has developed a larger than average following and are liked and respected for their views. Their following listens closely to what they have to say and are likely to try things that these individuals recommend. This person might be a celebrity, industry expert, thought leader, blogger, or other form of regular content creator.
How do I find them?
Influencers are approached by brands frequently and need to carefully select where they want to put their time and attention. Therefore, the more convincing the reason you can communicate to them that they should be involved with your company, the more likely you are to land them as your influencer. People who have demonstrated an interest in your product field will be much easier to attract. These people can be identified by searching for blogs or podcasts that cover the topic. They can generally be reached through the contact form on their website or blog or through an email address they provide. Subject matter experts, thought leaders, and industry fanatics can also be found on other platforms like Twitter where a search on related keywords or hashtags will reveal who is tweeting about the topic the most and you can see the kind of engagement that they are getting.
A reverse way of identifying who key influencers could be for you would be to think about who people of your target demographic are listening to or talking about and then find a way to reach out to them.
It is important to remember that these people are approached a lot and a very personalized message is necessary to solicit a response.
How can they help?
Influencers can be valuable because they have a significant following that pays close attention to what they say. When they speak, people hear it and act on it. Depending on the platforms that your preferred influencers use, they may tweet your product to their following, write a blogpost about it, send an email about it, post on their Facebook page, etc., or all of the above. It also depends on the agreement that you strike with them. Having them include a link and a previously agreed upon call-to-action will get their followers to your site.
Some partners will cost money and some won’t. A partner could be a company competing to a degree, a company that is in the same industry yet doesn’t compete, or a company that offers a different service entirely but could benefit from your product.
What is a partner?
A partner is a person or company with whom you can establish a mutually beneficial relationship. When a partnership is created to trade services that are deemed to have an equal or similar value an exchange of money is not necessitated. Partnerships can be very valuable for companies looking to keep their expenses down.
How do I find them?
To identify partnerships think about who has access to many people that are in your target demographic and then identify what you have that could be valuable enough to them that they would be willing to trade services. Once you have identified what this kind of business is you can search for them on Google or LinkedIn. Make sure to identify the appropriate person to reach out to in establishing the partnership. If you receive a “no thanks” initially, you may just be talking to the wrong person.
How can they help?
With a balanced exchange, partners will have a vested interest in your company’s success, giving them great motivation to help get your brand and product out to their customers and followers with whom they have established trusting relationships. They can speak for your product giving people the confidence they need to try it out. There are a variety of ways partners can be beneficial - providing you with the data that you need, bringing you paying customers, or just bringing you the critical user base that you need to get going.
Every company needs to work towards creating evangelists. They are free marketing that come as a result of loving your product or service. They are so infatuated by you they talk about you to anyone who will listen.
What is an evangelist?
An evangelist is someone who loves your company and your product so much that they will talk about it to anyone who will listen - they are an advocate. Their experience with your company has been so delightful that it is incomparable to anything else they have experienced and they think everyone else should know about you. Evangelization is motivated by love and not by compensation.
How do I find them?
Evangelists are created. They need to be developed. Evangelists arise when you give your users a stellar experience that is far beyond what they can get elsewhere. One way to create evangelists is to make them feel special and appreciated by sending them gifts and swag. Showing the extent to which you care is another method.
How can they help?
An evangelist helps by spreading the word about your product or service at no cost. ( But if you do show appreciation for how they are helping you their evangelism efforts will likely multiple.) They have a network of like-minded people and figure that if they like the product their friends, family, colleagues or followers will also.
Establishing a social strategy is important because people are online. Content needs to not only be produced online, but also be the content that your community or potential users want to see.
- 1. Community research: Know what your community and followers are talking about and wanting to learn about your product and industry to be able to create relevant content.
- 2. Content production: Each social media platform necessitates content being produced in a specific format. Identifying the best format and content type for that platform increases engagement.
- 3. Engagement: This relates to how many people see and interact with your posts on social media - think views, likes, comments and shares. The goal is to create content high quality, valuable content that gets people talking. There is little purpose in creating content if the intended audience does not interact with it.
Your community is the people you are addressing. Know them deeply - their likes, their interests, their hobbies, what they are saying about your product, the questions they are asking - to create content that engages them. What is it that they are interested in? What are they talking about on social media? What are frequent questions that they have? What do they want to know? What can you share with them that will help them or make their lives easier? Being able to provide valuable information will help them value you (and in turn create evangelists).
Content calendar. After researching your community and defining a profile for them that helps you know exactly who you are addressing, create a content calendar with content topics you uncovered during your research. Be strategic with the keywords you choose to use to increase eyeballs and participation levels on your content. You can produce similar content in different formats depending on the medium being used. For example, derive 7 key tweets for Twitter and an image depiction for Facebook from an 800 word blog post. Cuing the content up will keep you from having to scramble to meet deadlines at the last minute. It’s best to start out ahead, with an arsenal of material.
Insert yourself in the conversation. Sometimes new content is not even necessary. By identifying keywords to focus on, you will be able to find conversations that are already taking place around that topic. Take part in the already-established conversation on social media in a relevant way so people can discover your name and see your expertise.
Re-use. Share relevant content that other people produce. This not only saves time, but still produces engagement. If done properly, this can establish a good relationship or partnership with the author because you are helping them gain exposure.
The more people engage with your social media posts, the more the posts gain exposure in other people’s feeds. Their engagement on your posts is crucial in multiplying the effects of your social media efforts. The more you engage with them, the more they will want to engage with you back, so be prepared to respond to people if they comment on your posts. It’s not a one-way conversation and they love it when you show you are listening. Some content types will have higher engagement rates making it worth your time to pay close attention to what rates of engagement different content types get. Is it video? Is it images? Is it blog posts? Depending on the platform being used, tagging related people is another method to drive engagement.
Research or critically think about what times of day your audience is online. Timing your posts at times your audience is online will increase the likelihood of them seeing and engaging with them. If you are not able to be online during those times there are social media scheduling tools that can be used as an alternative.
A well thought out blog strategy is crucial to creating content that will help you build your company. Content should never just “be there”, it should always serve a purpose. Knowing your community and what type of information they want to know and be educated on will guide you toward creating content that catches fire and is spread.
(this section may overlap with this doc a little bit Cannibalize what you need but this should really focus on just what makes content catch fire vs not.
What makes a blogpost good?
An engaging, eye-catching headline is the first crucial step to getting your audience to read the post.
There are various angles to consider when writing a blogpost. While they might seem easy to write, the best ones don’t come without thoughtful consideration. It is important to consider who the best person is to deliver the message for that topic. Is it a developer, a designer, the CEO? Ideally they will be able to speak with authority and be respected for their knowledge.
A good blog post will be simple and clear. Remember you know your company far better than anyone else and it is easy to neglect to mention important facts that are crucial for helping people understand the story. On the contrary, speaking too much or too in depth will not be engaging, either. Aim for simplicity and clarity. Posts that follow a list format are widely accepted currently and drive clear writing, as well.
A good blog post will drive the reader to action. One way to drive action is to ask your readers to share your post. There’s no shame in that! People may not know if you want them to share your posts or it may have skipped their mind. You may even want to create a “share to social media” button to make it easier for them.
What does your community want to know?
Your blog is an ideal place to help people get to know you and enabling them to know you more will deepen their participation with you. They want to know who are you, where you came from, what your goals are, where you are going, why people should want your token and how they can participate. Find out what they are asking about the industry and what common concerns they may have. If you can’t locate any, anticipate what they may ask and address those in a blog post.
Who could submit a guest post?
If you know people or have established partnerships with people who have a good network, it can be valuable to tap into their network by asking them to write a blog post for you. Not only does this land increased awareness, but it also means you are not the one spending time writing. Guest bloggers are valuable if they are an external person who speaks highly of you or if they are qualified to speak knowledgeably about your field. If the guest blogger is well known there is an increased likelihood that people will give the post attention and share the post. Sometimes writers lack inspiration and are looking for content to share with their followers, as well. Approaching them with an idea can be doing them a favor.
Planning the publication schedule of your blog posts is important for several reasons. If you have a content calendar there is never any question as to what will be published when. In addition, when establishing a following consistency in content creation is key and a content calendar will ensure that. Content can also be queued in advance to guarantee it gets published on the desired date. A ready arsenal of content means that other matters can be focused on instead.
Before putting a promotional strategy in place, one must be very clear on what they are promoting and why. Promotions always need to come back to the what and the why, if not, the message can quickly get lost and promotional efforts will not achieve the maximum possible results. A good promotional strategy uses existing people, tools, platforms, and events as an aid to spread awareness and understanding of a company. Exploitation of these, when done right, can bring a substantial boost to a company’s followers.
- 1. Active newsjacking: This promotional strategy inserts your company in to the middle of exposure-gaining breaking news. By creating content that speaks to the story a brand will appear in the “search-ofthe-hour”.
- 2. Reddit upvoting: Buy or organically receive upvotes on your Reddit posts to show value and popularity to a large audience.
- 3. Influencer promotion: Influencers are on many different social media platforms and can promote your brand in a way that is appropriate to you, their audience, and the platform being used. The advantage of working with an influencer is they have a close following who respects what the influencer has to say.
What is “active newsjacking”?
Active newsjacking is using a current event to your advantage by inserting yourself in to the story. If everyone is talking about a problem another company just created, it’s a great time to share why you are a good solution. If important news comes out related to you, use this opportunity to give your take on it. Being able to have a successful newsjacking strategy means always being aware of what is going on in the news. Choose the keywords you would like to pay close attention to so not to miss an opportunity that would benefit your company. Acting too fast might be detrimental though. Make sure you have the full story and the right story before speaking up.
Why should I use active newsjacking?
Big news has a short, but impactful, life. By writing about a trending topic that people are looking up a lot, your branded post will receive greater than average number of views for free. There is no sense in letting such a great opportunity go to waste.
Reddit is an important forum-like platform for gaining exposure because of the sheer number of engaged people on it - over 160 million unique visitors/month. Getting upvotes on Reddit is important because it shows validation for your product or service and posts with more votes are more likely to be seen in search results and land on the hot page.
You can manipulate the number of upvotes you receive two different ways: paid or organic.
Increase upvotes organically: Redditors appreciate authentic interactions and are quick to call people out if they are acting in their own self-interest too frequently. It’s important to create good content that relates to redditors - constructive, helpful and useful. In addition to needing to have good content, it should be posted at a time of day when most of your audience is online and it should not seem like a repeat of other content. Your content should only be posted in applicable subreddits, so make sure to find what those are. Even better will be to post in subreddits that have at least 25,000 users. Take note of the types of content that are getting the most upvotes in your category so you can focus on writing similar style posts.
A lot of people are afraid of this one, but it works! Direct outreach is a tried and true method to connect to potential supporters directly. This can be done either online or in person depending on where you are.
- 1. Direct emails: Use an appealing message and contact the people you want to connect with directly.
- 2. Templates: Templates make direct outreach much easier so the same tailored message can be sent to many people. It is advantageous to personalize these messages as much as possible using a tool that lets you fill in the blanks.
- 3. Discord: Better alternative to Skype that allows voice, video and text conversations.
- 4. LinkedIn: LinkedIn has a great search to find the people at the companies or in the positions you want to connect with. Reach out to them through the LinkedIn messaging tool or identify their email address once you have their names.
- 5. Slack: This is a great platform conversing with your audience around a specific topic. Get to talk to people as a group or choose to talk to them one-on-one.
- 6. Telegram: Use Telegram in a similar way to how you would use Slack. Interact with your target audience around a topic.
- 7. Meetups: Search meetup.com for meetups whose topic overlaps with your product. Arrange to speak with the group in person if they are local or determine an alternate method, such as a video call, if not.
- 8. Video calls: If you are not able to meet with someone in person, having a video call is a great way to establish rapport. There are many free tools that make it easy to set up video calls.
- Direct emails: People are inundated by emails so the key is to distinguish yourself and make sure you are positioning your company in a way that will be appealing to them, get the receiver to open the email, and then to respond. The key will be to send a series of 7+ emails for them to truly take note of you. Follow up is key and is frequently neglected. There are many tools that will be able to help you gather the email addresses of the pertinent people you’d like to connect with and then schedule emails to go out to them.
- Templates: When needing to connect with a lot of people, being as efficient as possible is necessary. Creating good, standardized templates for your messages will allow you to use the same message, or several variations, on everyone. There are many plugins that make it easy to send the same message to many different people efficiently. If using a variety of messages, you will want to track open rates, response rates, etc. to identify how those message can be improved and which messages you should focus on. Personalize templated messages as much as you can by auto-inserting a reference to a job position, their first name, the company they work for, etc.
- Discord: Great, hassle-free communication via video, text and voice app to connect people who have an invitation.
- LinkedIn: If you have identified the job title, position or industry of people you want to connect with, you can reach out to the people from the related search results. Tools such as LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator come in handy for saving these search results and noting who you have or have not been in touch with yet. LinkedIn has a private message feature that can be used to connect with these qualified individuals, or there are other tools that can help you identify the email addresses of these individuals if you prefer to connect with them via email.
- Slack: Join related groups on Slack and engage with the group as a whole and connect with individuals. People desire personal relationships, so if you are able to connect with them on an individual level, you will be able to establish a valuable, trusting connection and get to know them on a deeper level.
- Telegram: With Telegram users can connect with groups of people with a shared interest and engage with them together as a group. This an option for pushing information toward followers in addition to being a platform to converse with followers and get to know them better.
- Meetup.com: Once you have identified your user profile and their interests, use meetup.com to find meetups that consist of those people. If the meetups are local, connect with the organizer and find out if you can go and present/meet with them in person. Remember that the content needs to be positioned in a way that will be valuable to them. No one wants to be sold to. If you are not able to attend a meeting in person you could connect via video call or find the email addresses of the people in the group and reach out to them individually using another method.
- Video calls: Having personal contact is invaluable. If you have established contact with people but are not able to meet with them in person, a video call is a great alternative. There are many free tools that can be used for both video calls and screen sharing. (old)
- • Cannot be treated like an equity sale
- • Need money to make money. Will need to raise a little but of money to start out ($100-150k)
- • Create a token in the Ethereum ecosystem
- • Get legal insight
- • Have product at good milestone
- • Pre-announce date of token sale
- • Write a white paper
- • Get your token on a few strong exchanges
Be smart and efficient with your time
Take the time to write good, simple, straightforward content ( be aware of potential language barriers)
If you haven’t already, make sure you know who your intended investors/participants are
- • Know Your Audience (KYA) - Knowing your audience will affect how you communicate and what you choose to communicate. If your communication doesn’t speak to anyone your token sale will not be successful.
- • Define a profile for them
Come up with convincing, targeted messaging
Identify where the interested people are
- • Have them read and comment on your white paper
- • Threads where people discuss and debate on Reddit, Bitcointalk, Slack, Telegram Create landing page where people can acquire tokens on the set date
- • Need quality content explaining the key components of the ICO
- • Issue tokens via smart contract
Be regularly producing content to communicate the value of your product to your target audience
- • Be educational and engaging to become an invaluable resource
- • If you appropriately engage your target audience they will share you with others
Engage on social media
- • Make sure your strategy aligns with where your target audience is
- • Make people evangelists
- • Be active and keep in touch with them
Get press - getting a reputable news outlet to feature your story instills confidence in your investors
- • Cheap option
- • PERSONALIZE
- • Think about why people participated in your sale and use that message to get them to bring more people in
Make people believe in your team;
Think about your FAQs. Each frequently asked question can be a subject for your content;
Think recent updates - show forward movement;
Think transparency = trust;
Give insider information. People like being a part of the story and knowing the backstory;
Share who is on your team;
Create a blog;